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UHD display and Terminals won't show a full desktop

Topics: User Forum
Jul 28, 2014 at 5:32 PM
Hello,

Love your application! Work with it daily and have donated. Thanks!

Just recently purchased a Lenovo Y50 with a UHD dispay. Screen resolution is set to 3840 x 2160 and I cannot view a full 1280 x 1024 desktop. It's like the Terminals program won't use my display settings. When I try to force it, it still doesn't show up right. I've tried all the option in the RDP setup, including forcing a specific resolution, "Auto-scale", "Full Screen" and "Fit to Window". "Fit to Window" is my preferred option and has been for years.

I don't understand why everything is so huge or how to change it so that it works with my UHD settings. I change to 1920 x 1080 and get the same results exactly.

How can I change the resolution of the program itself or at least the program's interpretation of the resolution so I can see more real estate on the screen? Thanks!
Aug 21, 2014 at 8:12 AM
Do You have the same problems when connecting with mstsc?
My colleague has a Dell XPS 15 with a slightly lower native resolution of 3200x1800. He uses the standard mstsc and he says that he can only work with win 2012 RDP. Older servers show up with a messed up scaling.
I am considering the lenovo y50 for myself and I'm interested to know if this problem is solvable as I work with via RDP sessions a lot and use an external monitor in extended mode.
Aug 21, 2014 at 9:40 PM
prejudiced wrote:
Do You have the same problems when connecting with mstsc?
My colleague has a Dell XPS 15 with a slightly lower native resolution of 3200x1800. He uses the standard mstsc and he says that he can only work with win 2012 RDP. Older servers show up with a messed up scaling.
I am considering the lenovo y50 for myself and I'm interested to know if this problem is solvable as I work with via RDP sessions a lot and use an external monitor in extended mode.
prejudiced,

Nope. Works fantastic with MSTSC and I get way more real estate than I can even use. These servers are all MS 2008 R2 and they work fantastic in native UHD with MSTSC. For some reason, the way Terminals scales the screen, I cannot get native UHD or even anything greater than 1280 x 1024 it seems. The is my only complaint at all about Terminals and I'd really like to see it get worked out.
Sep 18, 2014 at 10:37 AM
Edited Sep 18, 2014 at 10:38 AM
So now I own a Dell XPS 15 myself (3200x1800). I use an extended monitor with a FHD resolution. The default scaling in win 8.1 is set at 200%. Somehow all the apps on the external monitor are blurry due to the scaling but Terminals text and icons are sharp on both external and laptop screens.
But terminals does treat the laptop screen as 1600x900 - this is the maximum that I get when I set full screen when connecting on the laptop monitor. The external monitor is treated as a normal FHD. This situation is acceptable to me as the 1600x900 resolution on my laptop screen is good enough for me and there are no problems with the extended display.
And somehow Terminals is the only program that is not blurry on my extended display.
I think that in Your case the UHD resolution is used with the scaling at 250 %. Terminals defaults to 100 % (when the full UHD is treated as 250 %) when using Your main screen. Your full screen resolution on the laptop monitor in Terminals will likely be 1536x864. Try setting the connection in terminals to full screen and check in the rdp session what resolution You get. Then change display scaling to 200 % and check again what resolution You get in full screen. If indeed it works like that then it is up to Terminals developers to implement MS scaling instructions for the hidpi scaling.
Sep 18, 2014 at 9:51 PM
Prejudiced, thanks for the update. Yes, indeed, changing the scale of the Display allows more real estate within Terminals, as desired. Thanks for the idea. I hadn't even thought of that. I agree that the developer should have a look here, as this will be a more pressing issue as screen resolutions get higher and higher.

Now I get to play with the text settings so I can put the scale as low as I can stand and still be able to read stuff without a magnifying glass. I absolutely love this new Lenovo and the UHD display. When I scale to 100%, I have an absolutely massive desktop available, but can barely read the text. I'm currently running at 150% and my 14 point font looks like an 8 point in a 1920 x 1080 screen.

Mr. Chartier, any chance of scaling differently than host OS in a future rev?
Developer
Sep 21, 2014 at 11:24 PM
I think you are talking about issue described here https://terminals.codeplex.com/workitem/35214
Currently it is the most requested issue. I definitely plan to have a look, when all other stuff under progress is finished.
Sep 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM
Karlos,

Nope. I don't think that is the same issue. In my case, first of all, I'm only connecting to Windows 2008 Server OS and NOT Windows 2012. Secondly, I believe it is a scaling issue inside Terminals. When I set scaling (via Windows Control Panel) to a different (lower) value, I see more resolution on the target desktop. I can bounce back and forth through as many tabs as I have open and never does the resolution change, as in the referenced post. My HOST OS is Windows 8, and my TARGET OSes are Windows 2008 Server.

Though these issues may be related in some way, I believe they are two separate issues.
Oct 24, 2014 at 8:26 AM
After reading up on how display scaling works on Windows 8 I think that the main problem here is that Terminals is not a DPI aware application. This MS article shows how to check that: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn528847.aspx
I think that Windows 8.1 DPI awareness is still spotty at best. Applications can be Unaware, System Aware (win8) and Per-Monitor Aware (win8.1). System Aware applications know what the scaling is and adjust themselves accordingly. Per-Monitor Aware applications on Win 8.1 should do that per monitor basis. But I think that currently MS' implementation is incomplete on that front - Windows can apply different scaling to different monitors but the user can't configure that. And the end-result is that Per-Monitor Aware applications look huge on an extended non high DPI monitor (e.g. FHD screen). Such applications include Internet Explorer, Adobe Reader. System Aware applications look good on the main high-dpi screen but look blurry on an extended screen (Firefox, chrome) where they are scaled by windows.
Terminals is the most common type of dpi Unaware applications. Scaling is managed by Windows on all screens. This means that Windows will render the application on the resolution that is your native resolution divided by the scaling factor. If you have scaling set to 250% on an UHD display then Terminals will get only the mentioned 1536x864 of screen real estate and then Windows will upscale it by 250%. Terminals UI might look properly but this will be the max resolution you get to work with.
A workaround is to disable windows scaling for Terminals - you need to go to terminals.exe windows properties, compatibility tab and check the "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings". This will allow Terminals to use the full UHD resolution but the UI will look tiny on your screen. You should be able to select any resolution for RDP sessions.
A fix would be for Terminals developers to make Terminals DPI aware (best would be to make it Per-Monitor Aware since this is the most "advanced" method of scaling but for me it gives the worst results on my system) This would allow for terminals to tap into the full monitor resolution without loosing the UI usability. Unfortunately I haven't seen a single application that looks properly on my system with a primary high-dpi screen and an extended FHD monitor. And it seems the fault lies in Microsoft not implementing this correctly. They encourage developers to make their apps dpi-avare both for their newest surface and all those new expensive laptops with high-dpi screens but their forums are littered with posts from disappointed users who try to connect their machines to externals monitors/projectors. If you only work with your primary screen then it's just bearable.